Saturday, April 6, 2013

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Found art

Today, while coasting down Russell St. (one of Berkeley's fantastic bike boulevards) on the way to Berkeley Bowl, I passed a few other bikers stopped by the side of the road, looking through a box of what looked like art prints. On my way back from the store, I decided to check it out and see what had been left out. (I admit it: I cannot resist boxes of free stuff.)

Turns out it was a bunch of photography prints that were just a little "off", with comments written on the back like "a little too yellow," "too much exposure," and "great except for the GIANT HAIR". I decided that what was imperfect to a photographer still looked great to me, and took home four pretty big, artsy shots of blurry colors with focus on simple plants. After all, the walls in my bedroom are still bare, and it's been almost six months...

I also grabbed a box of negatives and some sheets of mini-shots all on one page (I am sure there are technical terms for these things, but I am photography-ignorant). I'm thinking of cutting the latter into postcard-sized pieces and using them for mail, but I don't quite know what to do yet with the negatives. Still, I'm thrilled to have a creative project again!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stylish ... I can do that

Lately (as in the past week or so) I've developed an affinity for style blogs. This goes nicely along with my propensity for shopping at thrift stores around Berkeley and the area, as a lot of style bloggers are into second-hand style.

Somehow I stumbled upon Second Skin, run by a gorgeous lady who posts her outfits each day, often with an interesting story about where she acquired the pieces. Her style is pretty inspiring to me; it's getting me to wear more skirts and dresses, and reminding me that things like belts can be useful for things other than holding loose pants up. (As you may have guessed, I'm not so clever in the wardrobe department.)

Check out her site - if you're like me, and into original, thrifty style, you will love it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Objectivity wins the day...right? Guys?

From the website hosting the 2005 Spelke-Pinker debate:

"Scientists debate continually, and reality is the check. They may have egos as large as those possessed by the iconic figures of the academic humanities, but they handle their hubris in a very different way. They can be moved by arguments, because they work in an empirical world of facts, a world based on reality. There are no fixed, unalterable positions. They are both the creators and the critics of their shared enterprise. Ideas come from them and they also criticize one another's ideas."

I'd like to believe this true (although perhaps without the implicit dig at the humanities), but I think this is a little too rose-colored glasses for me. Scientists are often quite prone to stubborn subjectivity as well. Even if they weren't, the empirical truth is often not all that clear, and saying that scientists will ultimately go for the truth assumes that there is a clear truth to go for.

The science I know (which admittedly sits on the edge of science, in interdisciplinary-land) has *very* few hard and fast, established facts (even allowing for the general grain of uncertainty which exists in all theories), so even the most empirical of us can often get away with POV-based theories and lots of subjectivity, with egos definitely playing a less-than-wholesome role. And frankly, I'm not convinced we're all that different from other scientific fields in that respect.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I wonder if the Tang Center has a vaccine for Imposter Syndrome. (Of course, I already suspect it's too late...)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lazy blogger receives lovely notebook

Been quite a while since I've updated this, but as I've won a new giveaway, I thought I should give due credit to the lovely people who made it possible.

(On a side note, I recognize how unengaging this format is, and intend at some point in the future to add posts with my thoughts as well. But there's something about moving to a new place that makes me incredibly resistant to documenting the change - perhaps being overwhelmed by too much to talk about? Or being underwhelmed at how comfortable change can be? Anyway, it'll come...eventually. In the meantime, some great handmade artists are being promoted!)

Christina at akane designs hosted a cabin + cub giveaway for the cute whale notebook/journal shown above. I am a sucker for blank page journals, so this was just my type of thing. The package, which arrived today, also included a card from Valerie (the owner of cabin + cub), with a beautiful front-fold portion that I intend to reuse as a postcard, because it's simple and beautiful (also just my kind of thing).

Thanks to Valerie and Christina - you made my day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

T-minus two days to the Golden State

On Thursday, I'm leaving for Berkeley. Which means that it's officially crazy thoughts time in my head. I think I am handling this transition better than most I have in the past. Let's review:

- Prior to going to Wellesley and the first semester there: So afraid that my friends back home would move on without me that I was bitterly afraid of being away from home/quite homesick for a few months
- Prior to leaving for Ireland: Better, in that I adjusted right away. But the transition and the fear of being so far caused me to be terribly sad the week before I left.

By contrast, I'm pretty calm about this one. It's easier in some ways - I've gone away to school before, so I know how that goes. I've lived 3000 miles away before (albeit for 5 months and not 5 years), so I can handle not being in a drivable distance to Jersey. And I'm moving in with Randy, know some of his friends, and have some acquaintances of my own in Berkeley, so I'm not going into my social life blind like my previous moves.

Still, sadness occasionally creeps in. Something symbolic about giving up my Jersey residency bothers me. The lack of ease/freedom to return home is also troubling; I don't mind being far, per say, but part of me feels anxious about not being able to dash home if something happened and I was really needed. (This concern never struck me before; I can't really imagine why it feels so acute now.) Plus, while I'm trying to be casual about it, very few people I know from home/family have made a cross-country move, so everybody else makes a big deal out of it. And faced with that, I can't help but think it a big deal on some level.

Thankfully, my experience has made me recognize that I will feel fine as soon as I get there; there's so much to be excited about (setting up a new apartment, exploring new environs, seeing Randy again, etc.) that I will enjoy myself without a problem once I'm there. But I always worry a little before I get places; as the transition time makes me restless and nostalgic and wistful and prematurely homesick.

Amusingly, the bad feelings this time are about relatively trite things. I worry about getting the stuff I want in my suitcases; about the crazy big bed in a very small room, about what appliances to acquire and how/where, and other such material things. This, perhaps, is good, as it's distracting me from what could be more serious sadness.

In three or four days, I'll be golden. Till then, wish me luck!